Gaming Provider Aces Customer Service using Saisei Network Visibility, Analytics and Control

Saisei Helps First Cagayan Deliver Online Gaming without Delays, Stop Forbidden Traffic, and Provide Fair Access to All Users

Mar 02, 2016, 12:00 ET from Saisei

SUNNYVALE, Calif. and PASIG CITY, Philippines, March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Saisei today announced that First Cagayan Converge Data Center, Inc. (FCCDCI) has deployed Saisei's FlowCommand network performance enforcement software. The Saisei software has enabled the gaming, hotel and casino operator to eliminate network congestion, postpone new bandwidth purchases, increase network security, and offer fair access to all users and new premium services in the future.

As the technology partner of a recognized interactive gaming jurisdiction in Asia, FCCDCI provides IT and network services to more than 100 licensed online gaming operators. Most games and sports occur in real time, so the network that streams the activities must continuously operate at optimum levels to avoid service disruption.  Delays, freezes, or outages severely impact the bottom line – a second of downtime can translate into thousands if not millions in lost revenue potential. 

"If the game or video freezes for even a moment, a gamer can feel gypped out because he's betting on what he's able to see," says John Cornejo, IT consultant to FCCDCI. "Not only that, an addition of a mere five-millisecond delay will cause a gaming operator's network to terminate, putting paid gaming sessions and sports bets in jeopardy."

FCCDCI also services hotels and gaming casinos, where it needs to provide fair and equal network access to paying customers. So finding a way to deliver fair bandwidth and eliminating network congestion remain a primary focus for the company.

"A few years ago, two gaming operators were threatening to pull out because of really bad network congestion that was rendering service unavailable," says Edgardo Lopez, FCCDCI's chief technology officer.  

The amount of bandwidth to be delivered to each gaming operator is specified in the operator's subscription contract. To supply the contracted capacity, FCCDCI first tried to use the traffic management capabilities embedded in their WAN routers. 

"The routers weren't very good at controlling usage, which then became an issue at billing time. We have to make sure what we sell is what's paid for. If we don't control bandwidth properly, we lose out on revenue. What's more, over-usage by one customer infringes on the bandwidth of others, and this leads to poorer service," says Lopez.  "We also tried different WAN optimization solutions with minimal improvement."

Ultimately FCCDCI chose to implement Saisei's FlowCommand, which has allowed the company to retain once-disgruntled customers and to boost the utilization of its network for a far greater return on its bandwidth investments. The Saisei software uses patented technology to allocate a guaranteed bit rate to each discrete network traffic flow. It simultaneously monitors millions of concurrent IP flows, tracks each individual flow with 40 metrics, applies any combination of these metrics in a policy, and can execute those policies in less than a second.  

FCCDCI has installed FlowCommand in multiple locations as a virtual edge appliance to control congestion and manage fair usage. The deep visibility provided by FlowCommand has enabled FCCDCI to regain control of what experiences its operator customers – and their customers – have. Using the software, every single flow is associated in real-time with the application it's serving, geographic locations, hosts or customer groups.

"Saisei's software has paid off in a number of ways," Cornejo says. "The two gaming operators who threatened to take their business elsewhere have decided to remain our customers. And we've been able to eliminate the 5-millisecond latency that can terminate a gaming session and its associated revenue."

Because the traffic flows have become controllable and predictable, the company now operates its network at 80% utilization, up from 50% utilization before Saisei FlowCommand was installed. As a result, FCCDCI has been able to realize a bigger return on its existing bandwidth investment, and it can postpone new bandwidth investments by getting more out of what it already has.

Detailed visibility into the network also helps FCCDCI verify with its customers how much bandwidth they are using. In some cases, the company determined that operators were using more bandwidth than they had contracted for.  However, FCCDCI was able to show reports of the traffic loads, which included a breakdown of traffic by application type. Sometimes, there was application traffic on the network that the customer didn't know about, consuming valuable bandwidth in the background.

"In fact, we were able to identify application traffic that our customers' own internal policies did not allow on the network," says Cornejo. "For example, some operators forbid use of Facebook and other social media – the Saisei tool was able to show that such application traffic was indeed on the operators' networks, sometimes pushing the customer over its subscribed bandwidth limit."

FCCDCI also uses FlowCommand to ensure equal Wi-Fi access for all its own hotel and casino guests. FlowCommand's host equalization capability makes sure that every user sharing a link gets exactly the same percentage of the available bandwidth that every other user has, regardless of what application(s) they might be running.  FCCDCI is also considering using the Saisei software to create premium services for those who are willing to pay a premium for additional bandwidth. By controlling the rate of each specific flow, the company can successfully provide equal services to all, premium services to some users willing to pay more, or a mix of the two. 

"What's important is that we now have the ability to make sure all parties have access to the bandwidth that they're entitled to, whether that's a minimum 1 Mbps for an individual user, 2 Mbps for a gaming table, or 5 Mbps for VIP users.  No one gets kicked off the network anymore," says Cornejo.

About Saisei
Saisei is a Sunnyvale, California-based software company that has revolutionized network visibility, analysis and control for the challenges that mobility, cloud, SDN, NFV, and the Internet of Things are bringing to networks today. Its scalable, real-time Network Performance Enforcement software solutions provide the speed and smarts needed to instantly see, analyze and enforce policy on the millions of applications, users, and devices populating networks today. Enterprises and service providers can now use their full network bandwidth knowing that unexpected traffic surges are automatically accommodated and all user traffic will get through even the busiest of network links with no dropped sessions, resulting in dramatic savings, accelerated revenue growth and a great user experience.  Learn more at www.saisei.com.  Connect with Saisei: Twitter (@SaiseiNetworks), LinkedIn and Facebook.

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